Comcast 911 Fails – 4yr Old Suffers – Comcast Support Hangs Up On Father

I am writing about my absolute disgust with Comcast and what they did to me tonight.


It is 2:30 AM PDT. Yesterday was my Son’s 4th birthday. An hour ago he had a seizer. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital with his mom, my wife. I am at home right now going out of my mind with worry. I have another son who is sleeping, so one of us had to stay here while the other went.


I am not sure where to start because I am really pissed off. I picked up my telephone and called 911. All I got was a buzzing sound on the other end. I hung up and called 911 again, another weird noise.


Frustrated, I start hunting for my cell phone. After finding it, I call 911 and spend the next 5 minutes (which felt more like 22 hours) trying to the dispatcher what our address was.


After my son went to the hospital, I am left alone infuriated at Comcast. This E911 thing they have is supposed to get my 911 call through. By law I thought. I pick up the same phone I used to call 911 and call Comcast support. Seems to work fine to call support. Over the next hour I am shunted from call center to call center to supervisor to supervisor. I want someone’s head. I want to wake up a VP, CTO, or even the CEO and let them know that their service delayed my son from getting the medical treatment he needed. That they need to know that the poor service they provided can put a life at risk. That this system needs to work. It has to work. They need to know, and some supervisor is not going to be the one to champion that message. I want a friggin VP to be woken up. I want heads to roll.


After an hour, I get to a supervisor in Texas who tells me escalating beyond her is “outside of her procedure” and refuses to escalate. She has an attitude, of course, and no doubt I am getting more upset by the minute. This call was not roses and butterflies. After prodding her for 10 minutes to escalate the call, she tells me the management “has a right to sleep” as the reason for her not to escalate. Infuriated, I tell her “fuck you”. She proceeds to hang up on me, but not before saying “Have a good day sir”.


I know this blog looks new, that’s because it is. I have an email I registered at gmail tonight for this. It’s I can explain more of what happened if anyone wants to email me. This isn’t some BS, pissed off Comcast customer who couldn’t get online at 2:00 in the morning.


Comcast needs to be held responsible when their service fails. They need to have escalation procedures that gets the customer to the person that can champion change, or at least advocate for customers.


I told the supervisor that unless this call gets escalated, I am going to go to every website I know and post this experience. It’s the only medium I have to express my frustration and the only way, it seems, that a consumer can be heard. If a service failure results in something like this, someone should be woken up and held accountable. The service should have never failed. I should be able to pick up my phone and call 911 and get through.


Please digg this, link to it, do what you need to do so Comcast gets the message.


124 Responses to “Comcast 911 Fails – 4yr Old Suffers – Comcast Support Hangs Up On Father”

  1. Eugenia Says:

    Look, VoIP is *not* as reliable as standard phone lines. I have experience with several VoIP services, and each one has its problems, and if you add the occasional internet-line problems, you can end up in the situation you did. VoIP must only be used as an ADDITIONAL line to your landline/cellphone line and not as the one and only phone account.

    Yes, you are right, it sucks. But no matter what laws FCC is trying to impose about 911, the truth of the matter is, there are technical difficulties when you are trying to operate a phone line via the internet. Internet-based VoIP is just not as trouble-free as a real landline is, because it shares bandwidth at all levels with other services/applications/you-name-it.

    YES, there are VoIP systems that *are* as good as landlines, like the ones from Cisco. But these are systems that operate via ethernet and a switchboard within a restrictive and highly maintained corporate environment, while the VoIP services that you and me are using at home are not that kind of VoIP. They can’t be.

    So, keep VoIP to do your normal calls for less money, but do get a real landline too — especially if your family members have health problems. I personally have a landline at my home which I use very little, VoIP for most of my non-emergency and international calls and my cellphone for when I am out of the house.

    I asked my spouse to remove the landline a month ago, and he replied “what if someone gets sick? The landline is our best bet”. So, you just gave my husband validation with your story.

    I hope your son gets well btw! Take care!

  2. A Digg User Says:


    You signed it.

  3. Matthew Block Says:

    Comcast has become terrible over the past years, in terms of service and support. But this is fucking ridiculous and really should be considered criminal. A 911 call NEEDS to go through. All the time. Every time. When someone calls 911, it is obviously an emergency situation! A phone company should not be allowed to operate unless 911 can be reached instantly.

  4. Tom Says:

    you have been dugg.

    Thank you, these assholes deserve whatever shit gets thrown at them because of this. I would have done the exact same thing

  5. John Brace Says:

    I’ve called an ambulance for someone with seizures before – even with them having stopped breathing it took the ambulance nearly 25 minutes to arrive.

    Anyway the list of Comcast executives is on their website:-

    I’m sure someone else can figure out which is the best to target. Have you spoken to a journalist yet?

  6. Chris Says:

    You have a good point and purpose, Comcast needs to be punished, but you’re doing this all wrong. There are grammar errors all over the place and the writing just isn’t good. What you should do is take real action, rather than gain public support. Go to a congressman, press criminal charges or sue. You mention that what Comcast did to you can’t be legal, or is at the least questionable, so hit them where it hurts with the law.

  7. Josh Says:

    As a comcast customer myself, this is pretty scary. I saw this was posted in March, any action since then?

  8. Eric Says:

    Comcast. Comcastic. Yeah, they limit your bandwidth, and then muck with your phone service. That is why I will always keep my stuff separate.

  9. Shara Says:

    One word: Lawsuit.

    Its not a money-seeking device, or an attention grabber, or a weak way to solve your problems. It and the internet are the last real ways you have of fighting major corporations – and the internet isn’t certain. Sue their asses.

  10. Gabe Says:

    Why are you wasting time talking with minimum wage ignorants and other degenerates of society that man call center support positions and call the FCC, BBB, and your Attorney General. Gather more people with E911 nightmare stories, and SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET! ROCK ON!

  11. Dave Says:

    Sounds to me like you should have done your homework a little more carefully. Your decision to cheap out and not pay for a land line delayed your son’s medical care. Did you *read* the agreement you signed with Comcast? Do you understand the difference between a switched network and a packet switched/routed network? Did you do your homework before buying this service? Didn’t think so.

    Now, I agree that Comcast ought not be selling 911 service they can’t deliver on but, hey, that’s one reason why I still pony up a couple extra bucks for a land line. Has your son had seizures before? If so, then you should have done TWICE as much research on this service before adopting it.

    At the end of the day it’s up to YOU to ensure you’re getting the level of service you need, not Comcast. It’s YOUR son’s health that’s at stake, so YOU need to take the responsibility of reading up on this service before trusting it.

  12. common sense Says:

    People who expect cable phones to work 100% are deluding themselves.

  13. Taylor Says:

    What compensation do you want from Comcast?

    What are you expecting from them?

    I’m sorry to hear what happened and I hope you get an apology.

  14. Paul Says:

    Google for “FCC 911 VoIP”. You should file a complaint with the FCC I would think; it seems like they failed to provide a service that they are required to provide.

  15. Phillip Says:

    Cheers man – I hope all is well….

    Comcast stopped caring about their customers a long time ago.

    In the corporate world – this kind of failure to a customer would have had a whole chain of management awake at any time of day – but you’re just the public…. I guess your life and death emergencies don’t matter….

    Please post an update when you can –
    – PB

  16. John Says:

    I hope Comcast burns to the ground. Their service is crap, and your tragic story confirms this.

  17. techlogique Says:

    Behind you 100%

  18. Daniel Says:

    You know that E911 is not the same as 911, and that there is no law mandating 100% uptime, right?

    No heads will roll. All VoIP companies inform their customers in their contract that E911 is not 911 and does not function in the same way. Read the fine print, don’t sign something and claim rights you don’t have.

  19. Paul Says:

    Complaints should be registered with the FCC and your state’s Attorney’s General, as far as I know. You might get more traction there if you wheels are slipping on Comcasts number.

    You might also write to your representatives and ask for some legal changes. My understanding is that the standard telco’s are much of the reason E911 sucks. Obviously research on your own before writing a letter.

  20. Brett J. Says:

    I really suggest that you contact Comcast through other means. I suggest you call other lines, send mail, and e-mail all available contacts. If you know a lawyer, maybe you would consider suing COmcast for neglegence? Sounds like you may get thier attention that way. I am the kind of person who does this regularly, when I have complaints about business. I suggest you to hold nothing back. Spread the word. We’re behind you. Digg is behind you…

  21. Vel Says:

    Boy “It’s comcastic!” isn’t it? Comcast is a piece of crap. Sorry with what happened.

  22. Adam Says:

    You should post Comcast’s contact info so readers can call or email to support the need for policy changes. Just a thought.

    Hope your son is better.

  23. Steve Says:

    Good luck dude. Comcast shouldn’t be providing any service until they can provide reliable 911 access.

  24. Jacob Says:

    I feel you, i give you my full support.

  25. Ryan Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you did sign an agreement that said it might now work. From the agreement:


    Now I am not saying what they did was alright, not by a stretch but you do have to understand this is not a regular telephone line. I am glad you had a cell phone but I strongly suggest you have a regular telephone hooked up. Even if you do not have telephone service with it, if you dial 911 you will get dispatch.

    VoIP is an evolving technology but has many glitches, one of the toughest ones is the E911. One day they will figure it out but until then, we need to work with it. Redundancy is a good thing, just like having your cell phone as a backup, have a true land line (POTS or Plan Old Telephone Service) hooked up to a regular 5 dollar corded phone.

    I truly do hope your son is alright and that you understand where I am coming from with this.

  26. Dan Shier Says:

    That is horrible. Espceically hate how she said “the management has the right to sleep”. Did she even know the situation? that a life was at stake because of their services. and for her to say that they have the right to sleep? Usually people get shaken awake when an emergency occurs. This is a big deal. We depend on 911 services to provide us help, but if we can get connected even tho a service is supposed to provide that connection, then that service (comcast) should be at fault. I hate it when companies flaunt themselves in marketing campaigns to say they provide quality services, etc. and then someting like this happens. You should personally pay a visit to the comcast HQ (After youre sure your son is okay, happy 4th bday too, my bday is on the 15th :D) and give them a piece of ur mind.

    Anyway, thats my 2 cents,

    Hope hes doing fine, Happy Birthday, (Go May birthdays :P)

    and Good luck bringing down the corperate big heads.

  27. Stephanie/fotojunkie Says:

    It sounds like their emergency system failed you and that is unacceptable.

    Our cable company called our home one time. They had made an error on our bill and were demanding payment. Additionally, they were demanding to speak to my father – who is deceased.

    This was Cox Cable. My son answered and the operator had an attitude with him from the start and said that she needed to speak to my father immediately. My teenage son was very polite and told her, “I’m sorry, he is deceased.”

    To which she answered, “Well, tell him to call when he isn’t dead anymore.”

    I went ballistic. My son was upset, my other two younger kids were upset. We had found my father dead in his bed just about a year earlier. It was very traumatic for us all and this woman tells my children this!?

    I got on the phone and had some attitudes at first, but I pushed on, much like you, until I reached someone in a high position. I got an apology.


    I know exactly what you are talking about and I feel for you.
    Send me a link and I will definitely link to you.

  28. knows all too well Says:

    The FCC is aware that E911 service is not provided over VoIP service. When customers sign up for VoIP there is a disclaimer that states that. In my area Time Warner Cable had to send a notice to all customers stating that their VoIP service is not compatible with E911 and they would have to sign and return the paper stating that are aware of this. If you do not want the service anymore then they will work with you to get a landline reconnected with your local telephone provider. VoIP service is not compatible with Alarm Systems or fax machines. I would suggest doing some research on it to see what else is not compatible.

    I am truly sorry about what happened to your son.

  29. Christopher Says:

    The management has a “right to sleep,” huh? Somehow, I think your son’s right to LIVE trumps that.

    I have no other words to express just how disgusted I am with Comcast right now.

  30. mike hallen Says:

    As a former firefighter and EMT, I know just how important it is to reach help in a medical emergency. That’s why I never trust VOIP services to connect me to my local 911 dispatch center. Instead of relying exclusively on 911 to get help, I always keep the direct phone numbers for fire and police programmed on my speed dialers on landlines and cell phones for the area I live in.

    VOIP services like Comcast do include warnings in their materials about the likelihood of 911 services not working properly, but they should really publicize it more with the increasing popularity of such services even at the risk of discouraging some potential customers. Meanwhile, we can all try to ensure we can get help quickly by opening a phone book and learning the direct numbers to all emergency services.

    Even cell phones are a problem with 911 services because they’re not tied to a specific address on the system and 911 calls from cell phones are routed to more centralized dispatch centers which may not be familiar with one’s particular location. In my area, all 911 calls from cell phones are routed to the Highway Patrol’s dispatch center in a big city over 80 miles away. On a busy Saturday night, getting connected to a 911 operator from a cell phone can take many precious minutes. Calling the direct emergency number should result in an almost immediate response.

    Unlike the E911 services, calling directly will not provide the operator with one’s address automatically, but if one is able to provide that information to the operator, help will be on its way much sooner than by any other method.

    I sympathize with you in this situation, but it serves to illustrate the importance of everyone’s responsibility to be prepared for emergencies by educating oneself about things like first aid, CPR and how to get help in an emergency.

  31. Dan Says:

    If you want some action, try calling the FCC and complain that their E911 is a complete failure. They were to have that working within a certain time in order to sell as a phone service, since they didn”t someone will hear.

  32. Chris Says:

    I agree that it is frustrating not getting e911, but think about it for a minute… e911 what’s wrong with that? e911 is still new, unstable and is likely to have this problem. I’m very sorry for what happened to your son and I would never want that situation to happen to me, thank god for your cell phone…

  33. webmaster Says:

    wow…I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. I also had issues with Comcast…I hope your son is alright.

  34. Michael Ott Says:

    Frigging wankers. If it was one of thier own children in urgent need of medical attention I can guarentee they would be doing something about it.

    I hope you get your pound of flesh. Be sure to keep everyone updated here.

  35. Ryan Says:

    I hope your experience is a catalyst for change at Comcast.

  36. Pascal Majon Says:

    Comcast sucks. I don’t even use local phone service anymore. I just use my cell phone. I hope I don’t have to call 911 but if I do I hope I don’t have to wait that length of time to get transfered.

  37. Another Comcaster Says:

    It’s your own damn fault for expecting a highly fallible, new service to work as well as the century old service we’re used to. I am also guessing your son is prone to having seizures? Why else would you leave one parent at home with the other sleeping child? Wake him up and haul your ass to the hospital too. So in that case Quit being such a cheap-skate and plug in a real phone. And grow up! 911 is just as flawed as Comcast.

  38. addison Says:

    I would start by talking to the local Public Utility Commission. Then escalate to the state overseers of communications companies.

  39. Derk Says:

    First of all let me disclose that I am a Comcast HSI(High Speed Internet) tier 1 agent. Although I do not handle CDV (Comcast Digital Voice) calls, I do get many misrouted to me. Where I feel Comcast fails is in consumer education on this service. The Voip technology used for this service will, in my opinion never equal the reliability of PSTN(Public Switched Telephone Network). CDV is presented as being at least as reliable. This technology is completely dependent on the reliability of your HSI connection. If I read your problem correctly yours was not a connection failure, but a failure of the Comcast to E911 connection. That being said, there is an expectation from all consumers of all services and products for a 0% failure rate. All services and products are marketed this way. This, of course is completely untrue as we have yet to develop or invent any service or product that has that reliability. Your concern about your inability to have this failure escalated to your satisfaction is, again in my opinion, because all escalations are treated the same way as if one of your tv channels was not working. Instead of taking your concerns to Comcast management, you may be better served if your concerns were directed at Comcast shareholders and the FCC. What I fear is that it is only a matter of time until the E911 failure you experienced will result in loss of life. And you can bet that the legal wording in the TOS(Terms of Service) agreement will provide full protection from liability. I applaud you for at least having the forethought to have a backup service (your cell) as I have talked to far too many customers on a pay phone at the 7-11 because they had canceled all their other services and the Comcast service was out.
    Just my two cents worth.

  40. Medic Says:

    There is a disclaimer when you sign up for service that clearly defines how E911 works. It’s frequently even printed on every bill.

    The fact is that they’re not obligated to be your direct line to 911. If it’s so important to you, you would have looked into it in the first place. But you didn’t and it was your shortcoming.

    Yes, it would be great if Comcast had a better service, but again–it is NOT their OBLIGATION.

    Lastly, it was just a seizure. And there is no reason it should have taken you more than 30 seconds to tell the dispatcher what your address was.

  41. Eric Lanz Says:

    I am a Comcast user in Oregon. I have read this. I completely sympathize with you. It irritates me to no end to not be heard. I’m glad this was Digged. If you do NOT receive a reply and are placated, please email me. I’ve been tempted to switch to DSL anyway, and will do so. No BS.

    I know this sounds like BS, but I am very tired of big companies ignoring the little guy and if I were in your shoes, I’d ask for support. You have it from me.

    I sincerely hope your little one is well. I can’t imagine.


  42. Lizzie Says:

    HI, My husband and I found this through We are going to switch our service (both of them, cable & internet) as a result of this incident. It is bad enough that your son suffered, and could have possibly died, but to have a supercisor at Comcast to you that she wouldn’t escalate your call higher because “Management has a right to sleep” is unforgiveable.

    I think you should find a lawyer and sue the shit out of Comcast. I would.

    Good luck
    Lizzie in Los Altos, CA

  43. Shawn Says:

    Dood that is horrible. It is no surprise to me that Comcast treated you like this.

    I used to work for Comcast internet tech support. Actually technically I worked for a “middle man” support company called Convergys contracted out by Comcast. I’m not sure how many people know this, but a HUGE (virtually all) portion of the support calls Comcast receives are handled by Converygs, especially the north east US. Convergys facilities are located in the US as well as Canada. I happened to work at one in Canada.

    A Convergys employ actually RARELY interacts with anyone from Comcast, at least in the tech support area, only a handful of upper management at each facility do. Everyone is trained and instructed to avoid escalations if at all possible. In fact escalating a customer issue will actually detract from your “peformance rating” as a support agent. The number of escalations you have are included in these types of reports.

    When all else fails and and an issue is escalated it will usually go to someone who actually has zero title, decision making or management skills. Usually it will go to a 20 some year old kid who is just working there while going to school and he/she pretends they are some form of management. If it escalates beyond that it will then go to Convergys management, never to Comcast. You never actually speak to any Comcast management.

    What this setup causes is that tech support agents never have a true idea of what kind of problems are going on in regards to a customers issue. Quite often you are encouraged to give vague answers about why there is an outage. All the customer needs to know is that “there is an outage and I have no more information on it”. They don’t have information on it because they don’t know. Also Comcast gives Convergys agents LIMITED access to tools and information needed to solve a problem. All you can do is make a trouble ticket and send it in to Comcast’s higher tier support teams. To submit a problem to them and have it fixed will usually take days. Worse, if certain information in the ticket is missing (because apparently “this customer is having this problem and is mad and needs it fucking fixed now” is not sufficient information), nothing gets done on it. It gets sent back to be corrected and resubmitted and the waiting process starts over again.

    Nevermind the fact that Convergys itself is a pathetic company that is horribly ran, moves into towns and cities, sucks up the labor market then shuts down and moves out. The kind of service that Comcast provides is horrendous. In short, they absolutely fucking suck. I have friends who worked at the Convergys in my home town and then moved to another city and started working tech support for our major cable provider in Canada (Shaw). They have seen sides of both companies and they report that the difference is like night and day. Sure Shaw has problems and outages, but nothing even close to the kind of crappy service Comcast provides.

    I truly feel sorry for the millions of American’s who have no other choice but to receive their cable TV and internet service through Comcast because they are the only provider available. There have been rumors Comcast was going to buy Shaw. Rest assured if that were to happen I would switch to satellite TV and DSL. I am ashamed that I worked for such companies as Comcast and Convergys. Companies that would treat someone like yourself in the way you describe. My only hope now is that the Convergys in my city will shrivel up and die. Any time I hear mention of the company I cringe, and I let the word out to everyone I know to not work there.

    Comcast will continue to do nothing but abuse it’s power and monopoly on the cable market in the US until something is done about it. I agree that you should expect heads to roll. I am surprised there hasn’t been a class action lawsuit brought against them. Hopefully someone can force some change. Good luck to you.

  44. John Says:

    You’re a dumbass.

    No, you know that E911 isn’t reliable and the dispatcher wont know where you live, so you make sure and say it only once. You don’t even specify that you have Comcast’s VoIP service.

    If your son has a serious condition that requires you to call 911 a lot, then you don’t deserve to be his father.

  45. lame Says:

    e911 is a nice to have service but you should be prepared with the direct numbers you need.
    It is also a bit crazy for you to expect such high availability for voip phone service, especially from your cable company.

  46. Mike Burg Says:

    I’d get a lawyer, an expensive one, you have a case for a lawsuit simply based on the fact that their 911 service was not working.


  47. Bryce A. Says:

    For lack of a better word – Sue the fuck out of them.

  48. isupportyou Says:

    thats horrible.
    i support you.
    give those bastards hell.

  49. It has happened to me Says:

    Thanks for your consciousness raising effort. Hopefully comcast and the rest of the private telecom cartel will get its act together.

  50. Joe Says:

    You need to contact your state agency that handles communications, check the web. Possibly your state rep’s office could point you in the right direction. The call center personel are not able to contact VPs or anyone like that, ask for the call center manager and if he is not in get a e-mail or voice mail to that person.

  51. drahkar Says:

    One thing you can consider doing is contacting a Lawyer. By law Comcast is responsible to make sure that all 911 calls work on their VoIP Systems. Vonage had to make corrective measures on their system to account for problems in theirs as well.

  52. Matt Says:

    So what’s the problem?

    I know what the rules are, as I work for a VoIP company. When you signed up for service, you had to agree to the way E911 works and that you understood how VoIP E911 was different from normal E911. One of those things said that server outages, network outages, or Internet problems could cause delays in completion, or no completion of your 9-1-1 calls. So, right away, that tells me you didn’t understand what you had, and perhaps maybe didn’t even ever tell 9-1-1 dialing. Did you setup your address? (Just wondering).

    Did you try dialing your local PSAPs non-emergency number? Do you even have it written down near your ATA? (I know we have it, I even have it programmed into my cell phone).

    So maybe it was a routing issue on Comcast’s end, maybe an Internet problem, could even have been your own ATA (and it reset by the time you called support).

    I’m sorry you had to hunt for the cell phone. We have an un-registered cell phone sitting beside our phone, and it is labeled BACKUP 9-1-1 phone. I then understand you called 9-1-1 on your cell, but were unable to effectively and efficiently give your address to the telecommunicator. That is not Comcast’s fault.

    People need top stop blaming VoIP for their stupidity. Read and understand what you are using, and prepare yourself. Then, realize, that while 9-1-1 is amazing, it may not always work. Hey, I’ve gotten a busy signal a few times when I’ve had to call 9-1-1. But the telecommunicators are very efficient, and if you wait 30 seconds or so and try again your call will generally go through.

  53. Daniel Says:

    Only right thing is to sue them. I can’t see no way you can loose this case!

  54. Koray Says:

    The internet isn’t your only avenue here, I am fairly sure (though no lawyer) that you have some legal recourse here. I think you are within your rights to sue them for something. They have an obligation to make sure you can get to 911, and they neglected to meet this obligation.

    Talk to a lawyer. Make them listen.

  55. Alex Fernandez-Gatti Says:

    I support you and what you have said here. VOIP has its flaws and this is one of them if not implemented properly. Comcast is overpriced and under serviced in its VOIP deployment. I will be re-posting and linking to this site.

  56. Aaron Batty Says:

    You need a lawyer. This is a serious public health risk.

  57. linkedList Says:

    Would just like to tell you that I submitted this to Digg:

  58. Sara Says:

    It will make you happy to know that your blog has made it to, on the front page no less. 2046 Diggs so far. The word is out. Justice will be had. Here is the link for you.

    Sara Dawdy

  59. originalgeek Says:

    I am terribly sorry that your sons life was put at risk.

    Get a hard line. Spend the money. Keep your VoIP service if you want to enjoy the lower long distance rates, but get the hard line. What if you had a power failure and a burglar in your house at the same time?

    I am sorry I do not mean to be insensitive. Your approach to solving this problem appears to be to try and get a cable company to change something. It is my heartfelt belief that your approach will not yield the results you need. Get the hard line, the real phone company has huge banks of batteries to keep phones online through just about anything except a line down.

  60. broken_dimwit Says:

    i’m sorry to hear that! 😦

  61. william Says:

    Comcast will face civil lawsuits for this, and may be in violation of federal laws that require service providers to give 911 connections. FEMA could be a seat to report this to.

    I urge you to call the ACLU and your state’s representatives. You may want to contact them using as I plan to.

  62. Charles Says:

    Right on… the 911 service is something provided by Municipal gov’t as a resource for the people… if a company is preventing you from utilizing this service in any way, it needs to be dealt with… this is unacceptable… I myself work for a municipal gov’t call center, and this will be blowing the minds of my co-workers tomorrow morning in their mailbox…

    Just a question… does your city have a 311? It may be a good place to start if you want to know about 911 laws, policies, or procedures… also you may want to talk to your councilman, mayor, maybe even the congress-person for your district…

    I’m sorry for your terrible situation, but I hope things turn out for the best… keep your head up and don’t take any S from anyone…

  63. Aythrea Says:

    Wow. Holy shit. I’d making heads roll. Get in touch with your local police/dispactcher. The 911 service is a mandated service, and must be working at all times.

  64. joe Says:

    You spelled ‘seizure’ wrong, in the second sentence of the first paragraph.

  65. Crystal Says:

    This is exactly why every time Comcast calls me with their latest greatest offer as to why I “need” to get digital voice, I tell them NO! My husband and I do not have a land line phone, only cell phones. We’ve had them and only them for over a year now and they work great. I know with 100% certainty that when I dial 911 my GPS goes on and I know that there is no way Comcast can offer that.

    I suggest you check out

    I am very sorry that this happened to you and your family, especially that your son suffered from Comcast’s incompetence. I hope he is ok.

    -Crystal from Illinois

  66. Dave Says:

    I hope you son is doing well. Best of luck

  67. J. Johns Says:

    This is completely outrageous !!! You should file a lawsuit against comcast. On a side note, I am SO sick of their “customer service reps” with attitudes. Refusing to fix problems that are obviously their fault.

  68. Mark Poole Says:

    You seem very nieve.

    The fact of the matter is the VP or CEO for that matter do not care if your son dies… YES dies.

    Its a cruel world, when you grow up you will realize that.

  69. concerned Says:

    How is your son?

  70. Becca Henry Says:


    I would be just as pissed off as you! If comcast wants to have a phone system, they need to make sure that the most important call that needs to be made get through….and that would be a 911 call. If that had been me…like you, heads would be rolling. They REALLY should be thankful that your son is going to be fine. Otherwise, well I don’t know what I would have done if it had been a life or death situation.

    I hope you son is doing ok……

  71. Anon. Says:

    I thought Comcast (any VOIP) were legally responsible to provide Equal 911 service to their customers. If this is true in your state, Comcast should be legally culpable for the delay in treatment. If this is proven to have been the cause of greater physical damages you could have a case on that point alone. Not to mention the mental anguish the failure of thier service put you and your family through in a desprate time of need.

  72. A.N. Onymous Says:

    That’s what you get for buying phone service from a TV provider. If you bought phone service from a PHONE company, you would not be a steaming pile of pissed right now.

  73. konstantino Says:

    That’s terrible. Comcast really needs to get their act together. I hope your son’s okay.

  74. JV Says:

    bro…call your local congressmen/senator/newspaper/PTA…whomever…they’ve got to get that fixed!

  75. Says:

    Comcast 911 Fails – 4yr Old Suffers – Comcast Support Hangs Up On Father

    I’ve heard some pretty bad support issues from Comcast users in other parts of the country, but this one takes the cake.

  76. Tim Says:

    My experience with Comcast is less life threatening, but I’ve experienced basically the same attitude when I’ve called and complained about my cable service. Over $100/mo for just to watch TV and the shit still doesn’t work. It’s even pretty shitty that calling with your cellphone they weren’t able to get a location— I thought there was some big hype with them having GPS for E911 calls?


  77. Adam R. Says:

    What about a 911 web page. At least it would be (another) option to get help. I believe we should push for that. What if you don’t have the broadband phone or a cell phone, but you do have internet access. They could either track were you are at using the same technology as the phone has, or you can type in your address and have it automatically sent to the ambulances GPS unit (like our TomTom’s or Garmin Navigators).

  78. Kristopher Leslie Says:

    After reading your story I humbily hope you and your family is okay. I do hope that the issues you experienced will be minimized in the future. However working in a call center environment for 10 years I can tell you that there is only so much you can do [even if you are a supervisor]. Its not like the VP comes to your office, heck you’d be happy if they came once a year [thats if you have one of the top 3 centers that are possibly out of 10].

    Call centers go up and down that will not change. As far as 911 is concerned I look at it from a few standpoints. I’m not taking sides for the service however I do realize that there are a few limitations to VoIP and Digital Phone Services and any other new comers you will be experiencing.

    For one the internet isn’t perfect it will fail and does it quite often. The technology [routers, switches, software etc] it isn’t perfect either. The programmers/engineers/etc aren’t perfect. So asking for a system to be perfect is futile.

    One can only imagine how much more painful life would be if the internet and the services tied into it were “better”. As far as the call is concerned I don’t believe even traditional land line service is perfect [it isn’t trust me] E911 problems exist still in it however its got what over 30 years of time invested in it. VoIP/Digital Telephone Services don’t.

    One thing that you did do that I’m proud of is had redundant connections…your cell phone. If you feel worried about the way services are being handled complain let people know but again no service/technology on earth is perfect. All people can really hope for is redundancy.

    Have a landline, VoIP[Digital Phone service of anykind], Cellphone[maybe even different providers] Again doing this can get expensive. So you have to make a choice what your willing to pay for. I myself I have 3 cell phones [2 different providers] and a VoIP line. If all 3 of those go down i’m screwed but I know I can definately try a neighboors if it deems necessary.

    I don’t condon them hanging up on you thats just plain retarded. However don’t fall play to the system because all they did was execute CYA [cover your ass]. When you do that you noticed the rep said “Have a nice day”. They had you from that point on.

    Don’t ever let your frustrations leak to anyone that isn’t a VP, or in a position of power [not even a supervisor depending on issue] its retarded how they will play a cya and power struggle with you. Its not worth it. They will record the conversation and view you as “hostile”. Again telecommunications companies have 30-40 years of call history don’t think they wont fight you with out using “dirty blows”.

    I do pray to God you and your family are okay and that this wont happen to you again or anyone else however handle this issue correctly [good job on the web/digg that is smart it gets it out to people like me and maybe even the CEO you don’t know].

  79. Steve R. Says:

    It sucks, no doubt about it. I’m sure in the contract you signed with comcast there is a paragraph that states they are not responsible for outages (including 911). They can’t BLOCK you from calling 911, but they just have to make it work as much as possible. I work for a VOIP company (comcast phone is just VOIP) and we have the same clause.

    A regular telephone is hard wired, self powered and backed up. VOIP runs on an internet connection, connected to servers, distributed through the internal system to the E911 system, etc. There are a million things that could go wrong at any moment, and sometimes do.

    Again: it sucks, but sometimes theres nothing you can do about it, i don’t know if comcast will do anything for you, it might just not have been their fault. Good luck though.

  80. A Says:


    Guess you should’ve read your contract.

    911 is never guaranteed to work with any operator.

  81. GoTony Says:

    Man, the crappiest part about all this is how comcast and other companies like it avoid any direct hassle.. I work for Dell tech support, and when you’re calling all you’re getting are people who were trained to follow an on-screen troubleshooting list, nothing more. It’s a sick sad world we live in, and I really hope your son is ok.

  82. Jinxsed Says:

    Wow man, and I thought Comcast only sucked for playing Xbox Live. Sounds like you should research to see if others are having the same problem, chances are that there are other with this same problem that could form a petition group, and possibly a class action suit. Good luck with the “head rolling,” pard.

  83. tree.hugger.chick Says:

    Unfortunately, it’s not to uncommon an occurance. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a regular old phone line at your house. Comcast 911 will fail, Vonage 911 will put you on hold, and it takes forever to get your location across if you call 911 from a cell phone (if you call from a land line, they have your address as soon as they pick up the phone and immediately dispatch someone). I’m sorry this happened to you and your family, and my best wishes for your son’s health.

  84. CarvsDriver Says:

    Wow … I’m speechless. First off, I hope your son is OK. Second, I hope you get a lot of publicity and the attention of senior management at Comcast.

  85. chris Says:

    My problem with comcast is not nearly as serious or life threating as yours was but we have comcast cable and it literally goes out at least once an hour. In one room if we are on channel 4 you can’t watch channel 4 in the other room because its blury. One tv affects the other and the one that usually works fine constantly goes out. We’ve had comcast “techs” come out several times to fix it but every time they leave it never ends up being any better. Im sick of Comcast cable and if there was an alternative cable solution i would most deffinetly switch, but unforuntedly we dont’ want dish. Thank GOD we have bellsouth DSL for internet which has never failed us instead of comcast

  86. Cole Goodman Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear ComCast failed you so badly, I think you have every right to be angry at them also. I do believe ComCast needs to do something serious, or atleast have someone greatly apologize to you. the last time I checked a 911 call is ALWAYS an emergency. It is not ok to have even ONE 911 call not get through because of their service. If I had a website, I would definitely post it on it, and everyone else should too. I hope you can get further with this story, hopefully I will see it on the news soon, it certainly should. Your son’s life was possibly put in danger because of ComCast not having it’s service work when it was important, someone should be fired or you should atleast get an amount of time of free service. This should not be put up with, and I hope something gets done.

    Sincerely, Cole Goodman.

  87. Ewen Says:

    What does Comcast have to do with your e911 call?

    or are you one of those people that didn’t read the fine print that says that e911 is not a substitute for your standard phone call to (normal) 911???

    Would you be blaming the power company should your son have a seizure and the power goes out because you couldn’t take responsiblity for your own actions and negligence?

  88. wittynickname Says:

    Forget websites. Take this to the press, man.

    Nothing goads a corporation into action (or at least empty lip service toward action) like hearing their name smeared on the six o’clock news.

    Call every affiliate you can reach by phone and tell this story, such that further malfeasance might be avoided, even through shaming those responsible.

    Just my two cents.

  89. anon Says:

    Your a fucking idiot. Calling and yelling at the poor people that work at comcast will get you nowhere. These people do no deserve nor should get your anger. Show some respect for others.

  90. Dan Says:

    That sucks man. You need to file a complaing at the better business bureau. I have had to do that before and you will get results. I am sure the last lady you spoke with didn’t even work for Comcast. she probably worked for an outsourcer and was a fat piece of shit eating cookies while taking calls. I hope you get a response. That placed a childs life in danger.

  91. pissed_off_in_boston Says:

    Sorry to hear your story… I hope your son is alright…

    I had the same thing happen to me this past week. My wife and I discovered that our Comcast phone service was out last week. This worried us as our son was born extremely premature and came home from the hospital on oxygen. We do have a cell phone as a backup, but our baby sitter does not.

    I too had a hard time getting a supervisor on the phone, and once I did, he indicated that he could have a service person out to the house in 3 days!!! I obviously became extremely angered after which he lessened the call time to 24 hours.

    This is still unsatisfactory as it was my impression as well that 911 service should always be available. I would expect that they would have a technician on call for these sorts of situations.

    As it turns out, the tech guy came out the next day (14 hours later). During that time we were completely without phone or internet service. The entire issue arose because Comcast neglected to install the proper part upon upgrading us to digital phone in the first place. Even the technician was left shaking his head.

    Comcast sucks and we’re switching to Verizon. Having a high-risk child in the house and no guarantees that Comcast will do the right thing when 911 service is out is just too much of a gamble. They’ve lost us as a customer, that’s for sure.

  92. Terry Carlin Says:

    Send a complaint to the local franchising authority. It is on the back of your Comcast bill. Send in a complaint to the FCC. Everyone you need to send a complaint to is listed on the back of your bill. Do complain. These agencies do require Comcast to answer these complaints especially the e911 problem. It is a big deal.

  93. Alex Says:

    I feel for you.

    And due to this, I’m immediately cancelling my Comcast service. I’ll stick with my cell phone and my Verizon Wireless internet.

  94. cknapp Says:

    I think you might be over reacting a little.

  95. Bill Says:

    I’d suggest contacting the FCC and the Better Business Bureau. I do believe the FCC regulates telephony issues and items such as broadband companies providing voice telephone service being required to link 911 calls to a local dispatch center. The BBB can address the lackluster Comcast support and failure to act upon a customer’s complaint.
    Lastly – use spellcheck. “Seizure”

  96. Jason Litka Says:

    Wow… I’m really sorry to hear about your problems with Comcast. I’ve had similar problems getting my support calls escalated which is why I ditched my Comcast cable for FIOS TV.

    All that said, with regards to VoIP, because there is no reliable way to tell where you are located with a VoIP system, most providers require you to give a street address or possibly even a local number for your emergency dispatch. Does Comcast require this or do they just use the billing address and assume that that is where you are located? That might be a question you could ask next time you talk to them.

  97. Mike Says:

    Wow – I can’t believe that…
    That is incredibly horrible service. Hopefully they get what’s coming to them..
    “Managament has a right to sleep” ????? Was this supervisor only 4 years old??? WOW – horrendous service!

  98. Former Employee Says:

    I can understand your frustration, and anger. I used to work at Comcast.

    I quit for a lot of reasons, one of which was that there is an insistence in believing solely in the bottom dollar and not equipping the people you called with any real method of resolution. I’m quite surprised, honestly, they even escalated it past that point.

    Comcast saw Verizon’s FIOS as a threat and decided that they needed to unfurl a new service without really testing it or hiring / training the man power needed to make this work. I remember as a ticket maker (re: the first person you spoke to on the phone) guiding a *technician* on how to wire the CDV for service.

    I sincerely hope you the best of luck. Even I’m going to switch service when FIOS rolls out in my area. They’re much to blase about providing decent reliable service with high markups to continue to take my money.

  99. Max Says:

    I hope you son gets better.

  100. Ricardo Cheing Says:

    Uhmm, I’m sorry to hear about your son, but I put the blame on you. It is because you wanted a cheap line run through VOIP that this happened. Had you had a regular phone line through a local telco, this would have not been an issue. They tell you up front that 911 dialing on VOIP is sometimes unreliable because of the nature of the line. I really don’t agree with you, maybe you should get a regular line and keep it at it’s minimum charges and also the VOIP line, let this be a lesson. By the way, in VOIP they usually run you through their emergency center before patching you into your local emergency group, another reason to not completely cancel that other telco line. I understand it’s cheaper, but when it comes to emergencies, there’s no cutting corners.

  101. John Doe Says:

    Well this is a horrible thing to happen to a family. But it’s a deeper shame to think that had someone actually done any reading on the subscirber agreement that was made, that this horrible thing might not have happened. It’s hard for me to believe that in this day and age that there was no other method of contacting 911 via a cell phone or a neighbor’s house.

    I guess that is the price we pay for the age we live in. An age of war without reason and absolute zero accountability.

  102. DH Says:

    This isn’t all that unusual. With the deployment of VoIP throughout the nation, many PSAPS (police, fire, medic) are refusing to accept VoIP 911 calls on the basis that they don’t deliver enough information to locate the caller. Since VoIP is a “mobile” technology, more care needs to be taken care with provisioning of addresses.

    This issue could have come from a number of different point along the 911 call, and it may not be totally Comcast’s fault.

    Until there’s more confidence in the VoIP world, and it’s technology, there will still be issues like this.

    Good luck with the issue though, and I hope your son is ok.

  103. Jon Says:

    Hey — This totally sucks and the service should be better. The only thing is that the cable VOIP companies are not by law responsible for the 911 service (take a close look at your service agreement that you agreed to when you signed up – they usually include clauses about no guarantee of service and that you should maintain a regular land-line if you have persons with medical conditions in the house / elderly people in the house). The FCC (federal communications commission) does not regulate the VOIP services and therefore they are under looser regulation.

  104. zibin Says:

    I think Comcast should really look into their E911 system, maybe even the whole of America. There has been a lot of shout and lauds about the implementation of E911- which was suppose to make America a better prepared country for emergency. And as this case clearly shows, it did the opposite.

    To be fair to Comcast, they shouldnt be blamed on the entirety. I am not sure how the conversation took place. The father is pissed of, as any parent would, but calling at the wee hours to ask a VP to talk to you might not sound all that reasonable. If had he made the call the next day during office hours. Comcast might have handled it differently.

    Mayb Comcast has something to say soon?

  105. Filip Says:

    I just got my Comcast VOIP hooked up minutes before I read this post. I am a bit freaked out and I’m wondering if Comcast assured you in anyway that this was a fluke thing and that 911 should work. I can’t image they were allowed to roll out this phone service without proving that 911 calls could be made. I hope your son is doing well and I really hope you got to a VP at Comcast and tore them a new one.

  106. happened2metoo Says:

    Had the same happen at our house but with Vonage. I was out of town on business, leaving the wife home alone. In the middle of the night the dog went nuts, barking at something outside the window. Wife grabs the phone and barricades herself in the bedroom to call 911. It rang. And rang. And rang. And rang. Nobody picked up. Thankfully my neighbor heard the commotion and came over to resolve the situation, as 911 never picked up.

    My theory is that Vonage configured our 911 to ring a local dispatch office, but erroneously chose a non-emergency or daytime-only number. Thank goodness that our situation wasn’t more serious.

  107. Shawn Says:

    Man, that really sucks. And I would have probably done the same thing, but you didn’t really expect them to wake up some that could incorporate change did you? That’s just naive. The system does need to be fixed though.

    I hope your son is OK.

  108. M R Says:

    I had a similar experience with Vonage last week. I had to call 911 and got Vonage’s “National 911” call center. When they first answered, they knew my number and address but needed to verify it verbally with me before they would transfer the call to the police. Once they did, they transferred to the NON-EMERGENCY DISPATCH number of the local sherriff’s office. The operator AFTER WAITING ON HOLD then had to tell the dispatched VERBALLY my address and situation. It took OVER FIVE MINUTES for the call to actually get the information to the sherriff’s office. It was a good thing that the house wasn’t on fire or no one needed medical help. Of course, by the time the officer arrived, the crime was long since over. the five minuted DID make the difference. I WILL BE LEAVING VONAGE SOON.

  109. Jorg Says:

    Your blog is a great idea. It is really frustrating when no one cares. I know and have considered doing this several times myself. Hope your son is well.

  110. Joe Says:

    wake up buddy! If you knew anything about the tech world you wouldn’t be nagging and moaning over a failed call! It happens ALL THE TIME and Comcast is not the ONLY company who has had this kinda problems. I’d suggest keeping a cell phone around next time you have an emergency instead of crying like a baby that your service doesn’t work. Wake up! Its called growing pains of a new technology!

  111. Javlington Says:

    Terrible, terrible. I sincirely hope your son will be alright ASAP, please keep us up to date.

    Your website has hit and is being read by thousands of people every hour, your message is being heard!

    Kindest regards.

  112. bullsh*t Says:

    you are probably from a rival company (of comcast)

  113. George Fragos Says:

    Comcast lacks the attitude and infrastructure to meet the standards developed in the wire line telephone network. Dial tone is like air and little more need be said.

  114. liljonmartinez Says:

    another comcast experience at its finest. screw the ISP’s they are trying to get there hands into everything.. now look, someone could of died from there horrible support…
    God Bless that ur son is okay,

  115. Siriusxmnews Says:

    Here you go man:

    Brian Roberts, CEO
    Comcast Corporate Office
    1500 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

  116. MallReviews Says:

    Read the fine print. Nothing Comcast can or will do for you.

  117. KP Says:

    Then switch to another provider, and stop whining. The VOIP service the cable company offers is a cheaper alternitive then the standard providers. And only a few years old, if you want service that is ALWAYS going to work, then you’re better off with a real phone. Stop bitching because you’re too cheap to get a real phone. YOU put your kids life in danger by doing that. Think before you speak jack ass. And on a second note, who in the world is going to keep you on the line after you tell them to fuck off? You’re a fucking moron and you got what you deserved.

  118. Mike Says:

    FYI – I just placed a link on my site.

  119. Comcast Operator Says:

    You are an idiot and can’t read. You signed an agreement that states that it is not possible for Comcast to provide absolute %100 percent 911 service. You signed it. Obviously you didn’t read it. Incredible. Smart enough to create a blog but dumb enough not to read a contract. You most likely will delete this comment to hide your stupidity from the world. It is however too late. Most people are burying this because you are an idiot. Read the comments on DIGG. You are an idiot. Face the truth.

    -Comcast Operator

  120. Brian Patrie Says:

    They have the right to sleep at their leisure, when the services that pay their fat salary don’t fail!

  121. InconvenientTruth Says:

    I can sympathize with you on the emergency. I hope everything went well with your son. This isn’t the first instance of 911 failing though. Verizon and other landline telcos have had their share.

    It isn’t clear from this post if it’s Comcast voip service or their regular telephony service. I had the latter, not voip, from 2000-2003.

    Since then, I have had voip service for four years (and four different providers in the first year). The first year was without a backup landline, but like I do now, with cell phone backups. However, I wasn’t confident enough that for the past three years, I have a Verizon copper landline as a backup. It’s a $17.86/mo with all fees and taxes plus $0.10 per call, but I think it’s worth keeping around for emergency. I have two young children in the house.

  122. Thomas Smith Says:

    Barkin at the wrong people I think, sorry about your boy though, hope he’s alright.

  123. PJ Says:

    I work for the competition and hate Comcast… but don’t let that influence what I have to say. Because it is nothing but the truth. I’ve heard a very similar story several times from customers I’m visiting to hooking up with POTS (plain old telephone service).

    One local single mother has a wireless provider for her so called DSL and phone service. When her daughter with special needs had need of EMS she got absolutely nothing when she attempted to calling 911. She too wasted precious time attempting to call 911 services and had to rely on a cellular phone and then wasted more time confirming her location with the dispatcher.

    Her provider ClearWire has no 911 service period. Yet they failed to explain that when they sold her on a contract for wireless DSL (max of 1.5 kbps) and phone service.

    It should be illegal for a provider of any type to sell phone service of any type without making it know they have no link to the 911 services.

  124. septer Says:

    Prefacing this by stating that I hope all is well with your son. And I am sorry for your troubles…Having worked in a call center environment 5 yrs (thankful that I dont anymore) A call to resolve anything other than a simple technical issue should never be expected to be resolved during the wee hours of the night. Did you try to call back during regular daytime hours. As a call center agent,I would have only taken your information and passed it to someone during a daytime shift who was better equipped to effect change and could handle the issue. What probably and inevitable occurs is a hightened stress level on your part and (this is always true) a less experienced evening agent which is never a good combination.. Point is attempt to resolve these issues in a regular business hours environment and then if nothing happens the argument is legit

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